Coronavirus cancels Bath Christmas markets

Where will we get our bank-breaking fudge now? 

cc: Visit Bath

The local council has decided to cancel the Bath Christmas Markets this year, following advice from Public Health England. 

The market was due to celebrate its twentieth year in the city and has recently attracted over four-hundred thousand visitors.  

A favourite of students and visitors, the small businesses trading at the markets have seen a share of £7 million in recent years, with visitors spending over £30 million in the city as of 2018. 

Mahisha, a final-year Management student, told us: “It’s definitely upsetting to see it being cancelled cause the Christmas markets are one of the most looked forward events of the year. The cheerful and Christmas vibes it brings will definitely be missed this year”. 

However, the bustle of the Christmas markets has previously prompted anger amongst some local residents and businesses. In a Somerset Live article from 2019, previous Bath resident, Rachel, referred to the chalets as “sheds of doom”, while John added “Why bother? It’s the same overpriced nuts and donuts every year… you’d be a fool to go”. 

Some students are also glad to hear the news, with Eloise, a second-year Politics student telling us: “I’m very happy to hear this, it’s awful for my anxiety. I’ve very much had it under control for the last few years, I rarely get panic attacks anymore, but the Bath Christmas Market has caused panic attacks both years I’ve been here – the crowds never seem at all controlled and far too big for the size of Bath, and so in corona times definitely a good idea to cancel”. 

“I’m definitely relieved it’s cancelled. I’ve never liked the markets very much. However, I will miss all the food and treats. I hope there is a way to do it online. So I can still order from the local businesses”

Rachelle, Second-year Applied Social Studies student 
Shoppers at a food stall at  the Bath Christmas Markets

Responding to tweets from a local reporter, locals also voiced a range of reactions to the cancellation of the event:

Councillor Dine Romero, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “A great deal of planning has to go into Bath Christmas Market and so a decision had to be taken now. We echo the sadness that the market is not happening this year but welcome the decision to put public health and people’s safety first. Thanks need to go to everyone who makes it such a well-run and special festive feature. Our message is that Bath is still open, however Christmas will look a little different this year so we can all enjoy it safely and we hope to be back to normal next year and celebrating the 20th Christmas market.”

Glen Mcalpine

Glen Mcalpine is the Media Officer (2020/21) and was the Editor-in-Chief (2018/19) for Bath Time.

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